January 08, 2019
FILE PHOTO: Sudanese demonstrators chant slogans as they march along the street during anti-government protests in Khartoum, Sudan December 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo
KHARTOUM – The Troika countries Tuesday urged Sudan to release political detainees and rights activists arrested during the recent protests and warned that Khartoum actions would impact their engagements with the Sudanese government.
According to the Sudanese Interior Minister, the security services have arrested 816 people across the country since the eruption of protests on 19 December 2018. Also, 19 were killed according to the government while the opposition says at least 40 were killed.
Also, Human Rights Watch denounced the use by the Sudanese security forces of live ammunition and other forms of excessive force against peaceful protesters.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, the Troika including the United Kingdom, Norway and the United States plus Canada said deeply concerned the use of violence and detention without charges of political opponents and protesters.
“We are appalled by reports of deaths and serious injury to those exercising their legitimate right to protest, as well as reports of the use of live ammunition against protestors,” read the statement before to urge the Sudanese authorities to investigate the of protesters and to hold accountable the responsible.
“The Government of Sudan’s actions and decisions over the coming weeks will have an impact on the engagement of our governments and others in the coming months and years,” further stressed the statement which refers clearly to the ongoing process of normalization relations particularly between Khartoum, Washington and London.
Washington and Khartoum launched last November the second phase of a process aiming to normalize bilateral ties and Sudan’s removal from the list of countries supporting terrorism.
During the talks, the American administration said this phase should have a special focus on human rights and freedoms, particularly religious freedom. Washington made underlined the need to observe the international law and principles on this respects but also to amend its repressive and coercive laws.
Britain pledged to help Sudan to write off its large foreign debt. However, the British diplomats within the framework of UK Sudan Strategic Dialogue stressed the need for democratic reforms and ensuring freedoms.
The statement said Sudan has to implement the necessary political reforms, to allow the Sudanese people to exercise their constitutional rights to peacefully express their political, economic and social views freely and without any fear of retaliation or persecution.
Sudan Tribune (ST)